by: Aura Jimenez
United States have deserts, mountains, snow peaks and many other landscapes to leave you speechless. For that reason it sounds crazy that a country with so many different places is not a hotspot for backpacking. I guess that big distances, relatively expensive prices and not such a big travel culture, makes a real different when it comes about backpacking.
Here I leave you some tips how to save money and travel better in this great country.
Try to organize group trips, it’s always cheaper to travel along with more people, you can divide the cost of pretty much everything. In many touristic attractions there’s special prices for large groups of people plus it’s funnier to have some friends with you to share the adventure.
There’s many apps and websites that offer cheap busses to travel inside the USA, my personal favorite is Wanderu, you can find really cheap busses if you buy them one or two days before the date you want to travel, they’re specially cheap if you’re not travelling on weekends so you might want to consider some adjusting to your schedule. This one time I went from Philadelphia to New York City for 7 bucks, amazing right?
You can join a Coachsurfing groups and find a host in the city you’re going to, it’s not too hard and its totally worth it, you can meet nice people who are willing to host you but just be careful to not take advantage of them, keep in mind that even when you’re saving money they’re not, hosting you represent some expenses for them, so be nice.
Work for accommodation and food
Do you know the project World packers? You create a profile to tell the hosts what kind of abilities you have; habilities like cooking, teaching languages, baby sitting, taking photos, and many others are some of the things you can do. And basically you trade some work hours for a place to sleep and in most cases, breakfast too, but some of them also give you the rest of the meals, this website has hosts all around the world, but you can find many for the USA.
Rent a room in an apartment
I know staying in a hotel it’s always the first option, but it can be really expensive, especially if you want to go to a big city like New York or Los Angeles. Bu don’t worry, there’s another option besides hotels and hostels, there’s actually a lot of people who rent rooms and full apartments, mostly during the holidays, summer and spring breaks. Its way cheaper than a hotel, in my own experience I stayed one entire week in a girl’s apartment in downtown Manhattan for only 200 dollars. I recommend a website called Airbnb.
Share a ride
Another good option of cheap transportation is finding someone to give you a ride, websites like Ridester give you the chance to find people from all over United States who are willing to give you a ride for a small amount of money, like sharing gas money, and you might make a new friend.
If you like to help people and traveling, this is definitely the right thing for you, volunteering can be really fun and you feel great because you’re doing something that matters to a community. There are many programs to choose from, from summer programs to entire year programs, you have to pay to enroll this volunteer programs but most of the include accommodation and food. The prize really depends on the program, but with some research you can find one that suits you well.
About the author: Aura Jimenez is 19 years old and was born in Mexico. At the age of 15 she traveled across Europe alone and since that experience, travelling became her biggest priority. Later on, on her second year of high school she spent a year in Brazil as an exchange student, a great chance to learn about intercultural exchange. Now she is working in Pennsylvania, USA and in the next months she is planing to move to Germany.